LESLIE SCALAPINO -
1. from: that they were at the beach - aeolotropic series (8.03) PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASEScalapino's CD presents extracts from six important poem sequences written between 1985 and 2004. As such, it provides a tantalising glimpse into one of America's most prolific contemporary poets. Associated early in her career with the avant-garde L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E group, a loose, bi-coastal simultaneity of poets who sought to draw close attention to the materiality of language and the restrictive structures of thinking it came burdened with by radically re-shaping existing patterns of syntax and narrative, she has come to develop a wholly distinctive style. One based on slow, incremental change that seeks to map, Stein-like, in language, the complexities of our multiply perceiving selves as we encounter a world increasingly alien, and yet paradoxically, increasingly coercive. Delivered in a measured, hypnotic mode, the poems emmesh you gradually (yes, there's an erotics of reading/hearing at work here) into specifically public, often disturbing, events as witnessed by the ever-attentive speaker, which then are revolved, crystal-like, to generate a seemingly endless series of sharp shuttlings between 'subject' and 'object' such that very soon, those terms, and the epistemologically divided world they suggest, becomes radically broken down. These poems reveal your complicity in all of where you are; a dawning realisation you've never wholly forgotten, and one which has the power to both engagingly excite and utterly appal.